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How to cure car sickness?

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  • How to cure car sickness?

    I've had many many dogs over the years. Never had one that got sick in the car. Until now.
    Pup is a rescue that is now about 8 mos old, I've had her since June. I got her to be my barn - buddy and horse show dog.
    She's smart, obedient, friendly and LOVES to go to the barn and to doggy day care (2X wk). BUT, as soon as she sees me put on my boots or she realizes she's about to get in the car she starts drooling:
    A LOT. Thick, ropey strands. Constantly.
    So that's caused by anxiety, I know - which is caused by the fact that she apparently has motion sickness. Her eyes droop and she looks ill. If she has anything in her stomach, she throws up.
    I put her in the front seat where she can see out. Open the window, turn on the air.
    Trip to day care is 10 minutes max. Trip to barn is 15-20 min. Doesn't seem to matter how short the ride is, she gets sick.
    Vet says she "may" outgrow it.
    HELP!

  • #2
    Has she always been able to see out? If so, maybe that is part of the problem - the visual stimulus versus the actual movement of the car? That is my problem with car sickness (e.g. if I try to read I'm sick). I don't have the same issue on a plane, though, so it's not the motion of the vehicle.

    I'd try putting him in a crate where he can't see out and maybe it will help? And I'd check to see if you could give a tiny dose of dramamine while you test the theory...if there is a learned response as part of it you want to try to diminish that too.

    Comment


    • #3
      There was a thread about this a little while ago - and I took notice because a friend of ours had a collie pup that was impossible in the car. What gave us confidence was that one poster said she took care of dozens (hundreds) of dogs and not one had ever NOT been trained to go int the car. Just take it slowly, slowly like just sitting in the car, then a drive down the road, etc. This collie now goes everywhere with his master and loves it.
      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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      • #4
        I have a young pup that has had really bad car sickness-this isn't something I've had to deal with before but she is getting better.

        We noticed that ours did better if she was up high where she could see. YMMV, apparently! The higher ours was the better she did.

        What also has really brought her around is I started driving about a mile up the road to walk the dogs in the hills. Always before I think a car ride stressed her out but when I started driving them for a walk car ride=fun. She stopped stressing about them and started enjoying them. She hasn't puked in the car since I started walking them after a short drive. Short drives but on a bouncy, curvy dirt road with three other dogs crammed in the back seat-it was something that would have made her puke before but now she's perfectly happy and relaxed.

        Ours has been in the car with us since she was just a few weeks old (I raised her) and she's always stressed about car rides-her full brother isn't bothered by them at all. I think she is just a little more of a worry wort and she worried about getting sick and thus-she was sick. We got to where we always had towels and covered everything in the car with other towels and the kids were getting pretty fast with their doggie barf bags!

        Good luck with it-make some short happy fun drives and see if she does a little better!
        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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        • #5
          Dramamine.
          We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
            I have a young pup that has had really bad car sickness-this isn't something I've had to deal with before but she is getting better.

            We noticed that ours did better if she was up high where she could see. YMMV, apparently! The higher ours was the better she did.

            What also has really brought her around is I started driving about a mile up the road to walk the dogs in the hills. Always before I think a car ride stressed her out but when I started driving them for a walk car ride=fun. She stopped stressing about them and started enjoying them. She hasn't puked in the car since I started walking them after a short drive. Short drives but on a bouncy, curvy dirt road with three other dogs crammed in the back seat-it was something that would have made her puke before but now she's perfectly happy and relaxed.

            Ours has been in the car with us since she was just a few weeks old (I raised her) and she's always stressed about car rides-her full brother isn't bothered by them at all. I think she is just a little more of a worry wort and she worried about getting sick and thus-she was sick. We got to where we always had towels and covered everything in the car with other towels and the kids were getting pretty fast with their doggie barf bags!

            Good luck with it-make some short happy fun drives and see if she does a little better!
            This. You need to drive as short a distance as needed and end it before she gets really sick feeling. It may be that you need to have her get in the car, give high value treats, and get out. Then try it with just turning on the car, treat, and get out. Then Go down the street, treat, go home. Etc. If you go to the point where she feels really sick, she will make herself sick remembering that cars= feeling sick. You need to stop before she feels sick, and substitute something really good.

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            • #7
              My Rottie did this too. She didn't get upset like your dog before the ride, she loved going in the car, but she got sick every time I took her anywhere. If I knew I was taking her out like to her class, then I made sure I didn't feed her before we went, like hours before we went and that stopped it most of the time.

              I can tell you she out grew it by the time she was about 1 1/2 or 2. She was 9 months when I got her, so I didn't have to deal with it for too terribly long! When I moved 1000 miles away, she made the trip as a 3 yr old and she was just fine the whole way! She rode loose on the backseat of the truck with my other dog.

              Not much helpful advise, I know, but at least there is a chance your pup will out grow it too!
              Check us out on Facebook at EVER AFTER FARM

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Thanks!

                Thanks everyone for the advice. I have tried pretty short trips - but not as short as just down the driveway or street so I'll give that a try.
                Also think I'll try crating her.
                I've been reluctant to give her Dramamine as my usual destinations are so near and I didn't want her "out of it" when at the barn or day care....but may play around with very low dosage and see if I can get that to work for a while.

                Glad to hear that it is something that she may still outgrow!

                Comment


                • #9
                  My previous aussie got car sick intermittantly for approximately the first two years I owned her. She seemed to out grow it. I think part of her problem was that she was "hot natured" and couldn't stand the car if it was the tiniest bit warm. Many times I had to have the heater on my side of the car, shut the vents on her side and have the window opened for her( in the winter). My current dog ( a mini aussie) was sick the day I picked her up from the breeder, but has not had a problem since. She however tends to be cold natured and loves her blanket.

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                  • #10
                    For the first year of her life, my 2 yr. old beagle would get car sick. Sometimes it could be in as little as 30 minutes of driving, sometimes as long as a couple of hours. I regularly drove 3 hrs. every other weekend to rabbit hunt her in prime snowshoe country, so she knew something wonderful was going to happen but never the less, yakked. The roads I drove were very twisty, turny, up and down hills. I had to make sure I navigated the sharp turns with care (and not zoom, zoom like a Mazda can!) and drive like she was spun glass. I'm sure her affliction kept me from collecting a few speeding tickets!

                    She did better in my F250, where her view of the world was wider. Of course, that could have been because I couldn't corner the turns like in the Mazda. She eventually outgrew the yakking but will still give me The Look if I happen to corner too quickly for her tastes. One minute, sound asleep....hug a turn.....the next minute she's sitting up with those big beagle eyes boring into the side of my head. It's like having an engine governor on my car.

                    With time and conditioning, I hope your girl outgrows her car sickness issue.
                    Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls

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                    • #11
                      If you are hesitant to try Dramamine, what about ginger? And an empty stomach -except for whatever it took to get some ginger in her.

                      My pound hound Joey got carsick for the first year I had him and he rode with me everywhere: tiny trips and whole-day roadtrips. No anxiety. Happy about car rides. But he was going to vomit. If I saw the lips pulling back and abdomen tucking, I would distract him and delay the inevitable by cracking a window. If I let him ride with his head hanging out, I suspect he would be too busy enjoying the ride to barf. But it's too dangerous.

                      I don't know what really changed after a year besides tons of practice and strict food management. NO FOOD if we are going to travel within four hours. If he has eaten and we have to drive, he gets ginger.

                      He will occasionally get sick but it is far less than before. He is crated these days: I don't see a big difference in riding loose but now vomit isn't going to mess up the upholstery . I still roll down a window at stop lights sometimes.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Big Belgian View Post
                        The roads I drove were very twisty, turny, up and down hills. I had to make sure I navigated the sharp turns with care (and not zoom, zoom like a Mazda can!) and drive like she was spun glass. I'm sure her affliction kept me from collecting a few speeding tickets!

                        ...It's like having an engine governor on my car.
                        Must share! My big sis had a 4lb Chi. A Mazda. And an aggressive lead foot in DC/Nova.

                        She would deposit hamster-dog on the leather front passenger seat then drive like she always does (makes me hella carsick) thru the city. Chi slides off the front passenger seat , drops onto the floor board, and is flung clear under the seat to the back passenger floor board . Many times while I rode shotgun, she would put hamster loose in leather backseat (leather = slippery!) and he would slide or be flung from one side clear to the other door as she cornered .

                        Thankfully, my dad now loves and honors little hamster-dog. Holds him in his lap or on the center console. Not the safest practice but it works for them. Chi has stopped drooling and shaking but still pants heavily.

                        I try to remember to drive like I'm towing a trailer/glass of water balanced on the dashboard. Sometimes road rage gets the best of me . Love my car crates!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Everyone in our dog club has had at one time a young dog that gets car sick.
                          Very rarely a dog does that when older.

                          I had two, a rottie and a border collie and both got over it in a couple of months.

                          Some in our dog club traded vehicles and the dogs didn't get sick in one kind, or got now sick in the new vehicle, so the kind of vehicle matters also for some dogs.

                          We tried the Pepperridge gingerman cookies with one puppy, about half at the time and that seemed to help her, either because of the kind of food it was, or maybe even that bit of ginger there.

                          We just carried a big plastic bowl and the puppies learned to throw up in it.

                          Our vet told us most outgrow it eventually and ours did.
                          Maybe yours will too.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            rescue remedy?

                            Anyone given this a try? I've tried it on myself and didn't feel any less "anxious" - but wonder if it might work on a dog.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rosie View Post
                              Anyone given this a try? I've tried it on myself and didn't feel any less "anxious" - but wonder if it might work on a dog.
                              I had that thought in the back of my mind, but didn't post it because you said you wanted to avoid sedatives.

                              If you have it on hand, it doesn't hurt to try. Some swear by it, some say it's snake oil. Does no harm to try.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                thing to try

                                I'll give the ginger and rescue remedy a try as well. Poor girl. I feel bad for her. Tho she recovers very very quickly as soon as she gets out of the car.
                                I am careful to not feed her ANYTHING before getting in the car - that is helping cut down on the throwing up.
                                Also very aware of braking and cornering in a "non-aggresive" way while she's a passenger.
                                I put her window down a bit, but she never even gets close to it. Only dog I've ever had that didn't want to hang their head out the car window! My sheepdogs love it.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I was going to suggest ginger as well. Either a bit of cookie or I think you can get capsules too. Make sure you give it 15-30 min to take effect.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Cerenia works wonders for dogs who are chronically car sick, without drowsiness. If the standard method of short trips etc do not do the trick, ask your vet..It worked wonders for a dog of mine, and several of my clients who had dogs that simply did not get over car sickness.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Got one he is better and also older now 4 we think it was due to him being so excited and a bit scared of going out into the "Big" world. He is a small dog and didn't get out much as a puppy prior to us getting him. Not that the previous owner didn't love him just he was a handful.

                                      He probably is a bit different to your case as he was always really happy to get in the car,

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        LOVE Cerenia tablets for just these kinds of cases. It doesn't cause any sleepiness, and it is a much stronger antinausea than Dramamine for pups.

                                        Now you may have to try it for a while to see if you can help with some of the learned response to nausea, since your pup starts well before you're in the car. Maybe try breaking up your routine, put your boots on and just go out in the yard, or wear tennis shoes or something to drive over to the barn. See if keeping that anticipation down will help as well, so she has some time to realize she's not sick before she makes herself!

                                        Katherine
                                        Vet Tech
                                        You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

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